Juggling festival visits Wash. U.
Several world famous jugglers performed at Washington University in Simon Hall on Saturday for the main event of the St. Louis Juggling Festival.
The National Prestigious Society of Collegiate Jugglers (NPSCJ), Washington University’s juggling club and the largest one in the area, hosted the event for the second straight year. NPSCJ President Thom Wall, a senior, said that the event improved on last year’s in terms of attendance and quality, drawing more than 100 jugglers.
“This year’s [festival] was twice as big as last year’s and it was three or four times better,” he said. “We had a lot of local acts last year. This year we had performers that came all the way from Malibu to Norway.”
The festival began Friday with an “open gym” in the Women’s Building, and continued with the visiting jugglers holding workshops for students and locals.
“It’s hard to boil down in 45 minutes what [jugglers] have been working on for three years,” Wall said. “It’s incredible to see the new things that people are coming up with. These people are literally the cutting edge of their own style.”
Saturday night’s show consisted of the visitors’ performing acts, and the festival ended with competitive juggling on Sunday, including a “combat” event where jugglers entered an arena and tried to upset each other’s routine while keeping their own juggling steady.
“Overall, the whole thing went off without a hitch, which is incredible considering how far away these people are coming from,” Wall said. “All the planning paid off.”
One of the performers, Josiah Jones, is currently the only person able to juggle five clubs and seven balls. Other performers included winners of international competitions, including Matt Hall, silver medalist at the International Jugglers’ Association Individuals competition, and Norwegian juggler and contortionist Frida Odden, whose act Wall considered to be Saturday’s highlight.
“It’s freaking insane,” Wall said of Odden. “The best way to describe what she does is juggling upside-down. She’s the only person that does this style.”